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Louisiana is one of a kind, a state whose rich history and unique blend of cultures make it utterly unlike any other region in the United States. In the 18th century the French controlled most of what is now the American Midwest. Except for a few place names, however, French colonization left its most enduring imprint on Louisiana. That influence was reinforced by a huge multiracial exodus from Saint Domingue (now Haiti) following its 1791 slave revolt as well as by the migration of French-speaking exiles from Canada’s maritime provinces. Creole and Cajun cultures have been vital ingredients in the Louisiana melting pot ever since. Louisiana Land for Sale is a passport into a world where even the colors seem more vivid, the very music more inviting.
The Mississippi River wanders six hundred miles along the Pelican State’s eastern border before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. The Mississippi Delta, with its branching bayous and swamplands, dominates the topography of the southern part of Louisiana while the northern part of the state is mostly prairie and woodlands. Louisiana is famously flat: the highest point in the state, Driskill Mountain, rises only slightly higher than 500 feet above sea level.
Louisiana has the largest natural system of navigable waterways of any of the 50 states, over 4,000 miles of rivers, streams, creeks, bayous, and slow-moving lakes, where the shrimp, crab, crawfish and catfish, staples of the distinctive Louisiana cuisine, can be found. Erosion and wetland loss are huge problems along Louisiana’s coast due to draining and dredging activities associated with constructing oil industry canals.
The graceful city of Baton Rouge is the state capital, a historic settlement that in recent years has become something of a petrochemical boom town as well as the beneficiary of a sizable exodus from New Orleans following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, which swelled Baton Rouge’s population by approximately 200,000. The Port of South Louisiana, located on the Mississippi at La Place, is the largest bulk cargo port in the world.
But Louisiana’s fortunes are inextricably linked to New Orleans, one of the world’s great cities. The Port of New Orleans handles 84 million short tons of cargo every year and boasts the world’s longest wharf, a structure over two miles long and capable of accommodating up to 15 vessels at a time. Hundreds of thousands of revelers hit the historic French Quarter’s streets, restaurants and bars during Mardi Gras, making that carnival one of the most famous festivals in all North America.
Winters along the Gulf Coast are mild though wet; the temperature seldom dips below freezing. Summer days can be so hot and humid as to be downright uncomfortable, though frequent thunderstorms cool things off in a hurry. Because so much of the state is low-lying and the indigenous ecosystem of bayous, marshes and inlets so fragile, hurricanes can be inflict major damage – as was the case with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which so undermined New Orleans’ levees that 80% of the city flooded. Louisiana is also susceptible to tornado strikes.
Louisiana’s economy, based primarily on shipping, petrochemicals, and tourism, has held up better than most during the recent downturn – a dramatic reversal of fortune from the difficult financial times following Hurricane Katrina just five years ago. Louisiana has the tenth lowest unemployment rate in the nation, and is the only state to add non-farm jobs so far this year. The state never experienced a speculative bubble in housing so foreclosure rates have never spiked. It remains to be seen what long-term effects the recent cataclysmic British Petroleum oil spill will have on the state’s coffers, but for right now billions of dollars in government-backed rebuilding projects keep the flags flying. Louisiana Land for Sale may be an ideal investment for riding out the recession.